What’s the difference between a formal headshot, creative headshot and a business portrait?

What’s the difference between a formal headshot, creative headshot and a business portrait?

Untangling the mystery behind the headshot

What’s the difference between a formal headshot, creative headshot, and a business portrait?

When you’re deciding whether or not to get a professional headshot, you’ll probably come across discussions of formal headshots, creative headshots, and business portraits. At first glance, these three might seem similar, but it’s important for you to understand their differences before you choose which one is the best fit for you. And since most companies only refresh their online images once every 18 months, it pays to get it right the first time.

What are the main differences?

These three types of images vary in style, formality, and context.

Formal headshots are the type most commonly seen on LinkedIn. They tend to be shot against a plain or slightly blurry backdrop are ideal for professionals working in corporate or large businesses. They help generate trust and authority while firmly planting you as a professional in your industry. They’ll help you stand out from the pack while still affirming your fit within your field.

Creative headshots are for people who want to take their image online to the next level. These images are more expressive and individualized than a standard headshot. They usually don’t have solid backdrops and instead place you in context, for example, seated behind a desk or in action speaking, working at a computer, or doing whatever you do best. These headshots focus on your personality so that your customer will get a feel for who you are and begin to bond with you. These headshots create more authority and expert status in field than a corporate headshot.

What’s a business portrait?

business portrait is more formal and more professional looking than either a formal or a creative headshot. Usually, you are photographed wearing a full suit, nice dress, or whatever would be the formal uniform of your work, like a doctor, judge, police officer. And instead of a plain background, you’ll be photographed in context, helping to place you as a professional in your field. Think of an oil painting of a famous banker or president, only less stuffy.

In contrast to this, a headshot is taken as a formal representation of a person, generally in a professional or business setting. They tend to be straightforward and take a less time to plan in terms of composition and style.

If you work for a corporation and are thinking of having headshots taken, you may want to consider business portraits instead. They help build respect and an online brand that commands attention. And they will help your website or LinkedIn profile really stand out from your colleagues or competitors.

Why you need a great headshot or portrait

If you’re considering getting headshots taken, it’s important to learn about them and why they are so important to your business. Firstly, headshots can speak volumes about your brand and give prospective clients an insight into the way that your company works.

If you operate in a corporate way, you can present that by your choice of clothing and where it is that you have the headshot taken, such as against a plain backdrop, in your office or in a meeting room.  If your company is more relaxed, a creative headshot can be a great way to display your individual personality.

To ensure you get your money’s worth, it pays to know about the different uses for headshots. When used on your website, they can help to enhance the feel of your pages and also give visitors a clearer understanding about the best point of contact for them.

Do you want to find the best corporate headshot? We offer a bespoke service and will go out of our way to ensure that we meet you and your company’s individual needs.

Joshua Albanese

Joshua Albanese is portrait photographer and owner of two headshot photography businesses based in Chicago, Illinois. He is owner and master photographer for JA Headshots photography which specializes in Corporate headshots and business portraits in Chicago’s West Loop Neighborhood. He is also the owner of Joshua Albanese Photography which is focused on actor headshots and creative headshots for musical artists alike. He created the Natural Shot Method and teaches his the style of positive psychology for all headshot photographers. Headshots have grown into a “must have” with the importance of personal branding. It’s his belief that a professional headshot has become a modern day business card for business professionals. Joshua and his Wife, Caitlin and their two cats live in Chicago, IL where he is focused on community development, and growing the youth into leaders. Joshua Studied Photography and acting at Indiana University Northwest and learned the art of the headshot from his acting background.

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